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Tillerman : The future of RTS in the UK?

Famous and feared for his masterful skills at Warcraft II and Starcraft/Brood War, the Scottish RTS-god known as TillerMaN, has during his long carieer qualified for the PGL SC Finals and the Starcraft Masters 2000 tournament in Korea.

While not completely succeeding at either event, he has demonstrated his RTS-skills on numerous occasions and is one of the most outstanding RTS-players ever.

Gambitt, Madfox and Lardy catch up with him to ask him about his past, future and the future of RTS gaming.

MadFox: Ok firstly I'd like to ask you what interested you in online gaming?

I saw my friend playing Doom and bought a pc for that reason alone. I then got compuserve and duke3d and hung out on there playing modem games of duke for some months.
MadFox: When did you start playing games online?
Around 3.5 years ago.
Gambitt: Compuserve, was it pay by hour?
Yes :).
MadFox: Duke3D was the first game you played?
Doom was, then Duke3D. I was into Duke3d seriously. Lag issues made me quickly switch from quake and duke to RTS which didn't have the same unfair latency issues and which still don't.
Madfox: When did you first get into the RTS scene?
When I started war2 Agent911 was a newbie like me, so was incinerate all these guys, all newbies. Then there was the top players who are all forgotten now. We played constantly till we were the best. You guys only have to do that - play constantly to get as good as you possibly can. People will take notice of you then.

I'll give you an example: Pillars. He played in war2. Was always an average player. Even in Starcraft. Average player. Now in BW, he is a top tier player and for that reason gets more respect. Thats what it comes down to in online gaming how good you are at the game. Or how good you are at HTMLing and making pages and stuff or how good you are at programming, it all interweaves, non-gamers hang out with gamers on the haven for instance. There are lots of sucky players, but they are all respected as much as me because they have over time been accepted.
MadFox: Like cannonballs?
Cannonballs is a perfect example, but you can't beat mad skillz at a game for gaining respect.
Gambitt: What connection are you on?
56k modem.
MadFox: Would you play FPS games if you had a faster connection?
Yes, I would play both.
Gambitt: Do you still keep up-to-date with new FPS'?
Yes, I played FPS seriously for a long time.
Gambitt: Time scale?
Around a year constantly. I still follow the fps scene.
Gambitt: Online or LAN?
MadFox: Have you purchased any fps games lately?
Yeh, Quake 3: Arena, Half Life, Unreal, Quake2 :) even Kingpin.
Lardy-Pies: Seem to remember you moaning about your P90 or something ... you got them all recently, because you got a new comp?
I bought a p533 around 4 weeks ago and bought brood war {referred to as BW} at the same time :).
MadFox: Which is/was your favorite RTS game?
Warcraft 2 and Starcraft. At the moment it's Starcraft (BW).
Gambitt: Any reason of those choices?
It's newer, and has more competition with serious prize money if you get good.
MadFox: Do you feel there are any inbalances in BW?
Terran v Protss on most maps. Bad for terran, especially temple.
MadFox: Protoss being the better race?
Protoss being the best race by far.
MadFox: You've been very successful at war2, who do you think is the best war2 player?
The best, well the player that has beaten me the most over 3 years is probably incinerate. So I'll go for him. We have played hundreds of games. We are 50/50 or I am better. I am not worse :).
t even there.
I was, but I haven't played it in 4 weeks cause of brood war. When I left I had 4 characters top 10 with one of them being No 1.
MadFox: You were top of Ironman too?
Gambitt: Why did you have 4?
Cause it's pointless playing when you have No 1. And I was bored. No point playing when you are No 1 is there? You can't get much higher.
Gambitt: Yeah but you should play lower players to keep the ladder real?
So go make a new character and do it again. I play plenty of newbies. I stick to people nearer my rating. That keeps the ladder more real. Avoiding good players is whats gay.
MadFox: What's it feel like to be Scottish, AND actually good at something ? =)
Hah. We are good at snooker and we won 5 nations.
MadFox: OK I retract it =). Do you feel the incident in PGL affected peoples outlook of your gaming skills?
Of course :)
MadFox: Do you regret it ?
Of course.
MadFox: Do you feel you could of won without it?
What are we talkin about here? :)
MadFox: CC Slide
Oh that.
Gambitt: And playing as evr
t kicked for that, I was kicked for playing a game as everlast. So was he. CC sliding was never against the rules.
Gambitt: Even though the rules said no exploitation of bugs?
No, it didn't Gambitt. I read them thoroughly.
MadFox: But it is considered as cheating.
Blizzard also didn't say anything about it. Madfox people were using CC slide all the time in BNet ladder and PGL. Either I used it or get beat. That was my stance. CC slide is not what the controversy was bout. It was me playing a game as everlast. And I do regret that because that is cheating and was against the rules.
MadFox: Was terran your worse race at the time?
I was good with all 3 races and played random. I had nothing to gain from playing as everlast. I was already No 1. I had everything to lose and zero to gain. He begged me to play for him and get top 16, he said "lots of people have dissed me" I should be top16 but they dissing me etc. He was my team mate, he gave me his pw and stuff. On the very last night, he was no 24 or so I played a few as him. It was caught you know the rest I was kicked. I qualified previous PGL No 1 and went to the finals
MadFox: What games will you be playing in the future.. if we get better connection rates in the UK?
I have no idea War3?
Gambitt: You got your own trading card didn't you? :)
Yah, I have 300 sitting in my room :(.
Gambitt: All of you?
Yeh, haha.
MadFox: Do you think the UK should be more involved in online gaming?
t motivated enough to be better?
USA will always offer more, better games that us, because they are a bigger country.
Gambitt: Why do you think so few UK players play RTS?
Not sure. Call rates for one. One bill and they give up. Maynard and grr are in the top tier and lk is 2 below that tier.
Gambitt: How old are you?
MadFox: Do you see yourself gaming for a long time in the future?
I hope so.
MadFox: Do you have any words of motivation to our readers? :)
Stop playing each other and try competing with USA and Korea. You won't get better playing each other.
Gambitt: Are you considering going Pro and do you feel a living can be made out of playing games?
I am yes, but no I don't think a living can be made, not yet, the top .00001% can.
Gambitt: Like Thresh?
Grrr... and Thresh are 2 examples. But grr isnt even really a good example. He has just won a lot in prize money. And $30k is not a big wage over 2 years.
Gambitt: But then you need to be out going like Thresh is? - he made GX and FS for example.
Nah, he didnt make that, his brothers make that. He does jack shit for GX or Gamers.
Gambitt: Yeah but his image helped.
t doing all the work.

t guarantee victory in PGL 4, so didn't enter, that's smart.
Gambitt: So you do believe that in the future Pro-gamers will be more common?
Yes, Pro gaming is going to be the next major sport. I guarantee that.
MadFox: Like BW {BroodWar} is in Korea?
Yeh, if you live in Korea you can make a living from it.
MadFox: If you're good ;)

Lardy-Pies: Do you think you have to be Korean to be good at zz?
MadFox: Do/Will you take part in any other tournaments?
Yes, for sure.
MadFox: Namely?
Any and all War2/SC/BW major tournies. :)
MadFox: Glad to hear it =) your probobly THE only UK one ;(

Gambitt: Where do you feel the RTS genre is going?
Not much to improve. Better graphics/sound etc. Stuff like homeworld is dumb.
MadFox: Do you see games merging RTS with FPS? i.e. BattleZone
No, I think they will remain seperate. You can't get any different that Quake and SC.
MadFox: Would you like to see virtual reality gaming?
t evolve, this in your opinion could be the last set of great RTS'?
I will keep up to date with things. And give things up when they die out. I will move with the times. Well, I'll be interested to see what Blizzard does with War3. It looks like a mix between RTS and RPG - so we will see. Broodwar will be the big RTS for the next year or two. Thats for sure. Nothing is going to take it over in a short time scale. It's too big, battle net did that though - not just BW alone. They are smart.
Gambitt: Yeah, noone can see anything in near future, DR2 {Dark Reign 2} is the only RTS coming soon.
Dark Reign 2 will last novelty wise around 2 weeks with top RTS players as all these games do. Agent911 gets AOE/DR/AOE2/TA plays them for 2 weeks, tells me if they are good and I get them or not. I never got any of the above.

Who wants a game, before I go to bed? :)
Thanks to TillerMaN for the interview.

If you have any questions or comments about the interview then please contact Gambitt directly.